My reflection on Yantai summer camp
From the 12 days of summer camp, we went to many exciting places like a wine museum, gold museum, grenade battle site, etc. At the museum of wine, a tour guide leaded the whole summer camp's children to exhibit the wine cellars. We went a bit underground, and found our selfs in a place full of wine! The sight was amazing because of all the huge wine barrels. How do people make those?? Next I'm going to write about is the gold museum. We first watched a god come out of a pillar, and then we went to see a 4D video about how gold came to the planet. There was a platform that we stood on, and when we started watching, there were 2 rumbles that made the platform move. Third, is the battle site. It is famous because a VERY famous Chinese movie was filmed there. First, the group had to walk a MILE!! (I'm exaggerating) By the time we finished walking, we had arrived at a show. My friend and I sat next to each other, and watched the show. The enactment was about how the Chinese fought the Japanese using bombs. How smart they were. After the show finished, we walked AGAIN to eat lunch and left. A towering mountain ahead of us when we arrived at the mountain, and we had to climb it!!! Thank god there were steps. When we reached the top, I stopped to take a break and looked at the marvelous site. Lastly, my favorite place we toured was awesome, and I don't even know its name! First, another tour guide let us touch one of the dragon's sons, the turtle thing. It was made of stone and was said to give you good luck. Then, some people sold tickets for 5 yuan and if you found the names of Japanese soldiers hiding in buildings, you get a stamp and if you found enough, you would get gold ore. My favorite thing that we did there was pan for gold. I actually used my hands to find gold in the water, and got wet, but my style of gold finding was much more efficient than panning. The gold was REAL$!$ I bought my favorite deck of gold cards there.
Other than visiting places, we took classes and lived in hotel rooms. First, we lived at Yantai University's hotel rooms. Everyday I would wake up with my roommate at 7, play with him, eat breakfast, and go to class. The classes were Chinese writing with brushes, dancing, Kung-fu, and Chinese history. We moved twice to hotels, and when I left, I missed all the people, teachers, and friends. This camp was a great learning experience and I really enjoyed it.
My Unforgettable Experience in Yantai Summer Camp
David He (贺英博)
What are summer camps? There are different kinds, but they boil down to the same things. Love. Encouragement. Exploration. Learning. These are just part of the things all summer camps have in common. And these were all characteristics put into the the Chinese Yan Tai Exploration summer camp. We made pottery and painted Beijing opera masks. We explored the gold museum in Zhao Yuan and visited Horse Island. We learned the art of Chinese Kung-fu and tried out Chinese folk songs and dances. But most importantly, we had fun. And those events have the main themes of summer camps: to learn and to have fun.
My teacher was very encouraging and compassionate, even though she can be very strict when she needs to be. She goes to classes along with us and does the things us students do. When we dance, she dances. When we do martial arts, she does too. She is a force that helps our education by encouraging us and sticking along with us, even when it is hard for her. She never gives up because she knows that it will help us learn, and that is her main purpose for is here.
Learning was the objective of summer camp. We learned lots of things, but the things that stuck in my head most were making Chinese opera masks, learning Chinese Kung-fu, and making dumplings.
Chinese opera masks are harder to make than you might think. You have to draw the lines in the exact place, and the paint is hard. The brush was very rigid. It took ten minutes just to draw the eyes. You can imagine the rest. Luckily, I chose the mask that was mostly white. There were two reasons I picked this. Firstly, it was easy to draw, since I could leave parts blank. But secondly, I also chose this because it was better for Halloween. I managed to finish the mask before an hour ended.
Chinese Kung-fu was the most fun of the subjects that they taught us (in my opinion). We first worked on the "Ki' Ai". I was good at it. In the second class, we worked on a form that showed all the different forms of fists: backfists, hammer fists, upper cuts, thrust punches, you name it! I loved that because I had done this sort of thing before.
Dumplings are actually easy to make. We separated into groups. One made the dumpling skin, one made the inside filling, and one made the actual dumplings. The chefs cooked the dumplings. I was the person who got the skins and fillings for our table. I worked so hard, I sweated. Now, you might think that's no big deal, but when you're just sending materials indoors across ten meters, you don't usually sweat.
This was my best experience away from my family that I have ever had in my life. I loved the culture, the places, and the history of China. I will never forget the joy that I experienced while learning these skills. This trip has made me realize who I am. Chinese blood runs through my veins, and I am proud of it. In martial arts, I learned being disciplined, being focused, and standing up for myself. In pottery and making Beijing opera masks, I learned being precise and perseverance. Thank you, all the teachers who helped me through this journey in China. Thank you, Yantai!